Tag: sober life

Feel the Music

When someone newly sober asks how long I’ve been sober, it’s almost embarrassing to answer. I bow my head and mumble, “23 years”. They are shocked and ask, “How’d you do it?” I’m quick to admit, “It wasn’t me.”

I do know, if it wasn’t for sobriety, the life I live now wouldn’t exist. I’d most likely be dead. This has been one of those weeks where I see glimpses of my maker in every little thing. This morning I met an Artisan in a parking lot to look at her handmade, cloth bowls. I came home with one, but took note of her email address knowing she’d create specific ones in the future.

Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I’m walking through every door that crack opens toward that future. Just like meeting with an Artisan in a nearby parking lot.

I returned home, as my daughter was leaving the house and showed her the bowl. She knows my dream for the future, and sees me taking steps toward it. As I strolled down the hallway, shedding my jacket I shouted over one shoulder, “Look at us now”, thinking how far we’ve come, but I know better than that. It will forever be, “Look what you’ve done!”

Look What You’ve Done ~ Tasha Layton

The Extra Mile

Walking to a neighbors house, I saw another neighbor who asked, “Walking down to the lake?” I replied, “No sir, I’m going to get fresh eggs.” He looked rather puzzled and replied, “You need a golf cart to scoot around in. It’s easier.” I just ginned and said, “But Dan, I don’t do easy.” He chuckled.

My daughter brought home flowers and it was the most magical bouquet I’d seen in years. They were freshly cut, wrapped in brown paper and when she handed them to me I could feel the weight of them. There was a florist card laying inside I didn’t recognize, so she went on to reveal the whole story.

She had stopped at the market I frequent for flowers, but didn’t see anything that spoke to her, so on she went to a flower shop she knew I loved. The lady inside told her to walk into the cooler and pick out what she wanted. I can imagine the look on my daughters face walking into a cooler filled with flowers. I’m sure it was overwhelming in the most delightful way.

She chose a few of my utmost favorites. A couple of long-stemmed roses, daylilies, a few gladiolas, and the most ginormous hydrangea blossom known to man. She remembered I like greenery to be used as filler.

She was holding a paper bag from the market as well with chocolate cold brew and Brie en Croute. You see, she just wanted to stop time that day amidst our schedules and celebrate her sober Mom. It was my AA birthday, and I don’t very cry often, but with all of this the tears were near.

I’m sure there’s a much easier way to buy flowers, but my darling, fill it with meaning and go the extra mile.

Welcome in November

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

A Sacred Bow

As we approach the end of the year, let’s take this opportunity to look back … so that we can learn from our experience, set intentions going forward, and improve our practice and structure.

Leo Babauta

Since June, I’ve been a part of the Fearless Community, and it was one of the best things I did for myself all year. A lot of what I’ve posted here this year was due in large part to Fearless Training. The Fearless practice brought my meaningful work to the forefront of my everyday.

This morning, as I walked into my room, the light from my window was hitting something shiny and causing it to shimmer. You know that’s going to grab my attention. 🙂

It was a medallion my daughter gifted me with 3 years ago, and it’s one of my favorites. The medallion was something I always looked forward to in the rooms. To celebrate years of sobriety, the meeting you frequented the most would hold a birthday meeting every month. It was called birthday night and they’d hand you a medallion with your year embossed on it, and there was cake.

I paused at the window and looked down at the medallion resting in the little love dish. ‘To thy own self be true’ is the inscription. It reminded me of the sacred bow, so I gave it a little bow. (Bow rhymes with cow)

I have a stack of these medallions.

The first few medallions were bronze color, but I received my first ‘pretty’ one after 2 years. There’s Bloggers who have given up alcohol this year, and that is a massive accomplishment. Medallions signify a lot of ‘one day at a times’. Those days accumulate into years, and then you get to hold that year in the palm of your hand.

Some people carry them in their pocket, or place them on a key ring. It’s a good reminder of what you hold sacred.

Sobriety is so worthy of a sacred bow.

Protect Your Sobriety

Every morning I open my eyes, my first thought and words spoken are, “Thank you God for waking me up sober.”

I’ve been thinking about sobriety, which is normal for me this time of year. On November 10th, I’ll be 22 years sober. There’s a twinge of embarrassment when I say that to someone newly sober. They usually ask, “How’d you do it Barb?” I respond with, “With God one day at a time.”

When I was newly sober, my then husband flew me to Canada with him for business. We were to meet his clients at a French restaurant for dinner. I recall walking into our private dining room and seeing the table set with what seemed like a million wine glasses. I was 2 weeks sober.

Photo by Fabio Sangregorio on Unsplash

It broke my heart to take a seat at that table.

My then husband didn’t understand the alcoholic. He thought maybe I’d have a glass of wine and be a part of the evening’s festivities, but when the waiter came to my glass with the bottle, I laid my hand over the top so he wouldn’t pour. He felt my trepidation and took the glass away.

Then I just got angry. Being the lady I am, I sat quietly at the table holding my composure, but wanted to scream. That was the last time I sat at a table like that.

Back then, I looked at drinking as something I couldn’t have and it felt like I was missing out. What I didn’t realize it was actually the beginning of a whole new life.

Almost 22 years later, I’m still thinking about sobriety. It’s not that I can’t drink. I could and the life I have today would quickly dissipate. I’m not willing to let that go. When it comes to one more day sober, here’s your permission slip to choose your table wisely, and protect your sobriety.

Keep Choosing Her

I woke up this morning to the smell of Mrs. Meyers from cleaning house, and not just the usual dusting and vacuuming. No my darling, I was on my hands and knees scrubbing corners.

Being on my hands and knees reminded me of my drinking days. I was a falling down, blackout drunk.

soberwoman

I posted this on my Letitgocoach Facebook page, but seeing it again this morning, it spoke to me as a sober woman. Sobriety is a choice, and when you have family history of alcoholism, the odds of drinking increase.

Recently, I offended a friend of mine.

She lost her sobriety after taking care of her Grand-kids for a week. That would be a tempting time to drink, but no, I’m not giving up sobriety. She asked if I’d ever been tempted to drink, and I told her, “You would think so when the doctor told me I had Breast Cancer, but you can’t drink during Chemotherapy.”

She compared having Cancer, to a bad day.

Hey, anyone can stop drinking, but living sober is an act of God. It’s not easy, but by His grace the only choice to continue being a sober woman, is to keep choosing her.

A Spiritual Awakening

I thank God every morning for waking me up and waking me up sober. He gave me my sobriety and I wouldn’t have the life I have today if I were still drinking. My daughter wouldn’t be here, and I’m not certain that I would be either.

You know me as Letitgocoach and that is what I am. Maybe what you don’t know is, my name is Barb H., and I am an alcoholic. For almost 17 years I have been walking into AA meetings and saying those words. I don’t go to meetings for myself anymore. Being blessed with sobriety for this long, I go to see how I can be of service to others.

My heart still breaks for the newcomer, as they sit there weeping. I cried at every meeting for 30 days when I began.

My story is not unlike anyone else’s.

I started out a social drinker and entertained my then husbands business professionals, so I didn’t have to leave home to drink. He bought cases of fine wine and my favorite part of the evening was the clean up. Pouring all the leftover wine into one massive wine glass and drinking it. That sounds pretty disgusting now, but back then it was normal. The things we do for a drink.

A part of my story you don’t hear much anymore is, I had a spiritual awakening. Yes, I heard God’s voice as He spoke to me. God answered my cry for help, and if that doesn’t sober you up, I don’t know what will.

It was obvious I was at the lowest part of my life. My husband of 10 years had given me an ultimatum. Get help, or I’m leaving with our son. My body was down to an unhealthy weight of 98 lbs, which is not good for a woman almost 5′ 9″.  I needed help, but didn’t know where to turn.

The next morning, I popped my son on the school bus, made my way up the steep driveway and into the house. It was cloudy and dark outside which suited me to leave the house dark as well. I poured some wine into a short Tupperware cup and climbed up the staircase in the two story foyer. I sat at the top of the stairs just staring off into space.

Then came the tears and frustration. The knowing I could not live like this anymore. I was in my early 30’s and had been drinking like this since my teens. I looked up at the palladium window at the top of the foyer. The clouds were rolling by and I could barely see any light. All I knew to do was cry out to God for help, so I cried, “God, help me”!!!

Looking at the bottom of the stairs, I see a light coming through the window, landing in the foyer and touching the bottom stair. It started coming up the stairs straight toward me as I sat there frozen. It went right over me, and I felt a warm hand pressing down on my shoulder.

Then I heard a deep, soothing voice in response to my cry. The voice said, “I will.” That was it.

Standing up and trying to walk was next. I was pretty well shaken, plus a little hungover, but walked into the office where we kept a phone book. Searching for AA meetings, I called a hot-line that helped guide me to the closest one. That day I walked into the first of many AA meetings.

God took my desire to drink completely away. I don’t struggle with thoughts of drinking. We even continued to entertain for years after I got sober. It wasn’t always fun, but I enjoyed the fact that I could entertain and be able to remember it the next day.

My marriage didn’t make it.

Drinking excessively during our dating on into our marriage, it makes sense, when you take away the alcohol, you wind up strangers.

We tried for 12 more years to make it work, but we were two different people. He couldn’t forget the past and I was in the present moment looking toward the future. He didn’t know what to do with a woman that didn’t drink, and I didn’t know either.

This is the past that brought me to where I am today. Letitgocoach is Barb H. and I’m a recovered alcoholic.